Saturday, March 26, 2005

Civil Rights Leaders: Back Up Before You Disrespect
Hip Hop Again!!!
By: Adisa Banjoko

I’m tired of all these s-curl wearing, half baked Civil Rights leaders constantly blasting Hip Hop. They are like Black faced Bill Oreilly’s on Prozac spewing wackness constantly. They spit venom at today’s youth and their reaction to being poor, uneducated and socially outcast. They don’t go after the Bush Administration. That is the COWARDS way out. That has no trace of the courage, compassion or leadership of those before you.

The Black Christian church, for whatever reason has always had it in for Hip Hop. Were it not for Michael Eric Dyson and Cornell West, REDEEMING the notions of the Black church and their approach to Hip Hop,virtually all would be lost. Many left over Civil Rights leaders have had a lukewarm relationship with Hip Hop. This has helped widen the chasm between the Black generations ‘causing yet to be determined cultural damage.

Nevertheless, I see more and more so-called Civil Rights leaders trying to step in outta the blue and try to arrogantly judge the Hip Ho p community. They do this with no compassionate ear, no open eye, no softened heart and no warm embrace.

Every time Reverend Two Piece and Deacon Biscuit show up talking bad about Hip Hop is, I KNOW they are way off track. Every time somebody Black “leader” decides to take steamrollers and drive over some Hip Hop DVD’s and CD’s, I know Black leadership has ONCE AGAIN missed the ball.

Don’t tell me you don’t like 50, Dre, Em, Game, Lil John or whoever. Tell me who you do support?!? Why don’t you champion Common, or Mos Def? I never hear you telling people to go get De La Soul or Zion I!! Don’t tell me the Hip Hop you hate, tell us the Hip Hop you are for!!! You know what? You can’t tell us what Hip Hop you like because you DON’T’ LIKE HIP HOP!!! You’ve never even tried to KNOW Hip Hop!!!

You are not just enemies of “Gangsta rap”- you are an enemy of the entire sub-culture itself. That, or you are ignorant about the sub-culture. But you won’t admit it. So you don’t know what to champion, and just stay on attack mode.

I never hear you talk about the beauty of seeing b-girls set it off. I never hear you tell the kids the difference between vandalism and graffiti!!! I never see you commend the DJ’s for all their technological and creative innovations!!! I never hear about you telling kids to bring back that double dutch nation wide!!! You don’t know Hip Hop and therefore many of you are not fit to judge it or critique it. Yet you try to, for your own benefit.

What you fail to acknowledge is that Kanye West did more for the Black Church with ONE SONG, than has been done in the last 20-30 years. He showed Black children the beauty of Jesus. When was the last time you did that? But many in the Black Church tried to chastise the brother because he’s human- he has flaws. Kanye is able to reach out to the people you are afraid of. Would Jesus walk with the Republican party-liner’s wrapped in the Democratic cloth? Or would he walk with the poor and uneducated?

Kanye’s music is for the poor and uneducated because Hip Hop itself, is music for and about the poor and uneducated. People come to Hip Hop to have fun, to share information and get social, political and spiritual insight. Insight they no longer GET from the church.

Despite any issues one may have with Kanye, his music is more “Christ like” in that it is made for the poor. Unfortunately, much of the so-called Black leadership abuses the poor and uneducated. I think that’s why you hate Hip Hop. Maybe you are afraid of being exposed by 50 Cent. If 50 Cent wakes up and calls you out,you’d have big problems. Maybe that’s why you ignore Common, Kumasi the Roots and Dilated Peoples.

Talib Kweli told the ghetto youth that he was with them in their struggle to “Get By”…Meanwhile you drive by us in big caddy’s and we cant see you unless we putting money into the church.

Paris waged a “Sonic Jihad” on the media and the U.S. government by putting hard truth back into rap music. Where was your support then? I know you tried to get your picture taken with Michael Moore when he was in town….but you stayed away from Paris.

Hip Hop lovers from all races and faiths really got things jumping off politically in 2004. But you were TOO afraid of us to really get to know us and who to stand by….So you pretended to be friends…But you did not wanna get too close to us…Your inability to commit to the youth cost you the election because the youth would not commit to your half baked friendship!!

You better take the time to see Hip Hop for all the beauty it has. You better stop demonizing these young people and embrace them the way Jesus would, the way Prophet Muhammad would, the way Moses would…Because love is much closer to the prophetic tradition and spirit than hate. The root of hate is fear. If you would stop to know us, you’d stop hating us. And if you stopped hating us, I know you’d move to really help us. ‘Cause I’ll be the first to tell you, we need all the help we can get.

Adisa Banjoko is author of the controversial book
“Lyrical Swords Vol. 1: Hip Hop and Politics in the
Mix”, !!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

A day later

My first day after the incident I talked the stuff out with friends and got over it eventually. Yesterday in DC was crazy; apparently altogether three shootings happened that nightin close proximity to one another. I won't say which one I was closest to, but that is just off the chain.

I don't hate cops, but I do have a problem with cops when they have attitudes. DC cops have to deal with quite a bit, but really, to me, that's their job. To serve and protect, but not show a brotha disrespect. I just have a problem with police being rude to the people they are to serve, abusing their "power" and being straight a-holes.

I found this site,, it's pretty cool. That's for those who get beat down and beat the s--t out of by the cops. I don't have that problem, but I guess I shouldn't speak too soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

How do I put this?

I don't have the words for it. You know, when you read about it, hear about it, and talk about it, stuff that goes down in the hood like drive bys and murders personally doesnt affect me. Experiencing it is a whole other deal that leaves me speechless.

Im not going to spell out all the circumstances, and as for info I know nothing, but in the hood I was at today there was a drive-by.

I sometimes think that I can just shrug it off, because since violence is something I hear about , read about, and talk about, I just figure it wouldn't affect me.

But what gets really deep are seeing the victims peoples start crying, and the victims being carried away in strechers. That is alot to take in.

It seems to be such a casual thing, due to the fact that even in hip hop a rapper dying is becoming a cliche. We see it in the movies, we read about it in the paper, and we hear about it so much in hip hop, and some of the most popular hip hop today seems to celebrate stuff like this.

It's like, when you heard that song on The Chronic "Rat-A-Tat-Tat", and when Snoop said "Never hesitate to put a nigga on his back", you thought damn, that was a dope song.

But, when I saw these guys carried away on a strecher and saw his peoples crying, that just stuck. When I got home, I just broke down. I'll admit it. I cried.

I cried about just the numbness. The numbness we all have towards life, the numbness I tried to display, the numbness that we all try to promote. Get Rich or Die Tryin just seems to be the rallying cry for misguided youth. I felt how sometimes the whole lifestyle alot of rappers promote leads right up to this.

As I said, about the incident, I know nothing, I didn't even see it all go down, but I feel pain and sadness.

As John Singleton put at the end of Boyz N the Hood, Increase the Peace. I guess that's the best way to put it.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Terry Shiver and a bunch of other stuff

First, I want to show this funny stuff I picked off of a Republican/Conservative website. This is a petition where the writers and signers are to brand Michael Moore a "traitor":

Don't let Moore get away with treason! Sign this petition urging U.S. Attorney General-to-be Alberto Gonzales to brand Moore a treacherous traitor guilty of seeking to undermine our nation's resolve to fight while giving aid and encouragement to our avowed enemies during a time of war!

Don't believe it's real and there are people out there who are serious about crap like this? Read on at Conservative Petitions!

Granted, even though this other blogger, I forgot his name, labeled me a "lefty" or whatever, I am growing sick and tired and cynical of politicians. Im tired of hypocrisy, tired of the sickening political atmosphere, tired of all the stupidity. That to me is the deal with this Terry Shiver thing, and thing is, the reality is that people all over the country deal with the issues this family are dealing with, and I refuse to believe that her life is more important than anybody else's. I refuse to believe it.

I'll never forget the movie John Q which was about a father who had to go to extreme measures to keep his son who needed a heart transplant alive despite hospital administrators who were about to let his son die because he didn't have the money. Call this movie the work of "liberal media elites", but really, if people don't have adequate health insurance and can't pay for expensive procedures, would they have to die? How many politicians would care enough to take up the cause of a poor broke single woman from the 'hood who's child is about to die because she has no money, no healthcare, and nothing else? Is this real or "liberal tripe"? Check out this article in USA Today.

More than 18,000 adults in the USA die each year because they are uninsured and can't get proper health care, researchers report in a landmark study released Tuesday.

And I thought this was a "culture of life"? A culture of life? What about this?

I don't endorse the idea of Universal Healthcare, but I really think that if this issue of keeping one person alive is addressed as though it is the only important thing in the world, I think that something that affects 18,000 adults every year should be addressed with the same urgency, media exposure, and "emergency" congressional debates that this one person has recieved.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Hip Hop Mellow?

This article Hip-hop mellow is saying that hip hop is going "middle class". The writer has a very active imagination, and fills the page with a fantasy of this image of "clean cut" hip hop.

The acclaimed West and his chart-topping R&B protege John Legend - along with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas and rappers Common and Talib Kweli - are spearheading a new musical movement that shuns the misogyny, gunplay, bloody revenge fantasies and mindless conspicuous consumption of a previous generation of hip-hop record makers and breakers.

Well, I disagree. The acts that he is writing about have been doing what they have been doing for years, so what is he talking about? They are an alternative, but hardly a "new" musical movement.

"It's the return of the middle-class rapper," says Todd Boyd, a hip-hop theoretician, author and professor of critical studies at the USC School of Cinema and Television. "In the '80s, it wasn't so uncommon."

LOL. What the f are they talking about?

"Jay-Z was really one of the first to start going preppy," said Zena Burns, music editor of Teen People, which closely covers the ebbs and flows of the hip-hop scene. "Pretty much whatever he does, everyone follows. He's a very sharp dresser - he moved away from looking like you're going to work out every time you hit the stage. So Jay opened the door for West's [mainstream] image and look."

Jay-Z going preppy? Huh?

Funny how people try to make up stuff. Kinda like this article. As usual, the mainstream press gets it all wrong.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bush gettin' juice in the hood?

This is mad old, but I just caught this pic of Bush hanging with Ja Rule and Snoop. Is it real? You decide.

Hot 97:An Arbiter of Hip-Hop Finds Itself as the Target

RIP Lyn "It Takes Two" Collins

Monday, March 14, 2005

Emmanuel Jal:There's rap in Kenya?

This article about Emmanuel Jal is about somebody who was a child soldier, and now he's a rapper. I'd say that most American rappers have nothing on him in terms of living rough. His story is an interesting one.

Learn more about him on World
There is also an article in the BBC News, and the Sudan Tribune.
This about sums it up..........

This Boondocks comic stripsums up the Game/50 Cent situation nicely.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Jadakiss target of a hit?

Damn....I don't want to see another rapper dead.

Police may have foiled a late-night Chelsea hit on volatile hip-hop star Jadakiss yesterday — just hours after he released a new single targeting his bullet-prone rival 50 Cent, sources said.
Cops arrested four men with a loaded gun in a stolen black tow truck at around 3 a.m. at 21st Street and 10th Avenue.

They had been taunting Judakiss, a 29-year-old Yonkers-born rapper, who had just left a Hot 97 party at the Roxy with his bodyguards and a videographer.

Read more at Obvious News.
50 Cent's "Piggy Bank"

I finally downloaded 50 Cent's song "Piggy Bank" off Napster, and to me it is lame. Totally. The beat of course is tight, 50 gets the best beats in the industry, but 50 doesn't really bury his opponents the way he could have. He just shows how bad he and his opponents and other current rappers are.

I remember back in '84 the first time I heard "Roxanne's Revenge". Roxanne Shante did back in those ol' school days what 50 is doing now; taking on all the rap stars of her time. She came out dissing Run DMC, in "Bite This", she dissed Rob Base in "It Takes A Real Man" (on the Colors movie soundtrack), and then when she came out with "Big Momma", she dissed MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, Queen Latifah, and Salt N Pepa. She was the ultimate hater. KRS-One said it best "Roxanne Shante is only good for steady f--king".

In the end, like Roxanne, I think 50 is just playing himself. He's not going to get respect dissing people for merely associating with people he doesn't like. And how far will he go in carrying on his crusade? After all, Eminem, who is practically pimping him, did the "Lean Back" remix. His G-Unit associate, Lloyd Banks, did a song with the Alchemist, who is on Koch Records, a record label 50 Cent despises (he called it an "artists graveyard") if you believe what he is saying in the pages of his Vibe interview.

What's funnier though is the fickle little wannabe message board gangstas who are all of a sudden dissing Fat Joe and Jadakiss because of "Piggy Bank". They dis Fat Joe: "He needs to get off his fat azz and do some sit ups before dissing 50." Last summer, these same kids were all in their bedrooms jumping up and down on their beds playing "Lean Back" really loud despite their Mommys screaming "Turn that rap crap down!" These kids are dissing Jada, trying to say he's not "gangsta" because he went to college. These same kids were bumping Why? a few months ago, and actually wondered why "Bush knocked down the towers."

Getting back to 50 Cent though, I'd love to see 50 and Jadakiss go head to head in a rhyme battle. I've heard that Jadakiss challenged him, but like Nas did to Jay Z in declining a pay per view challenge when their so called beef fizzled, I think that this interesting match up will never see the light of day. Jada's diss response was weak, I'll admit, but 50 needs to prove how ill he isn't and step in the ring with Jada.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Commentory on today

First of all, I thought it was funny as hell that Michael Jackson showed up to trial in his pajamas. I'd like to do the same, show up all disheveled and casual like I just don't care. At this point, MJ shouldn't care. People are out to get him for his money, and the media machine is shamelessly exploiting his story.

Talking about shameless exploitation, this whole thing with Game and 50 is just a joke. A truce? Cmon, this was some straight up BS! Fake, just a way to sell a bunch of records. However, I was sleeping on GAME, as I heard his jam "Dreams" on a DJ Clue mix CD, and I actually thought he was hot on that track. It was pretty deep, how he was relating his dream to those of Martin Luther King, Huey Newton, and fallen rap icons like Left Eye and Tupac. Then, he ends it with a dedication to Venus and Serena William's sister who died in crossfire in a Crips/Bloods shootout. He even named the date and time of that event. So, GAME has some potential, but this truce thing, I'm not really feelin' it.

Just would like to welcome the various 5% Nation bloggers like the C'BS ALife Allah of the Journal of Allah's Five Percent. I'm not a 5 percenter myself but it is good to see these brothers coming to this blogosphere, and I'd rather read what they write as oppossed to putting up with all these Right Wing nutcases and their crap.

Heard the Fat Joe dis cut directed at 50 Cent, and I have to say that honestly I liked Ja Rule's "Loose Change" better, but that jam never got radio play. Joe's cut, called "Curtis Jackson", was alright. It was so-so. Will 50 destroy Joe's career? I hate to think that 50 actually destroyed Ja's career. I actually don't think he did. Ja was coming out with some BS albums, he was trying to say he was 2Pac resurrected, and his musical formula was becoming monotonous and the crossover hip hop fans weren't feeling it. Once you lose them, then it's over. Let's not forget the legal problems Murder Inc (AKA The INC.) ran into being associated with big time drug dealers.

However, with Joe and Jadakiss, I guess only time will tell if 50's jabs will destroy their careers. I think Fat Joe thinks more people like him than they actually do, and as for Jada, he's struggling to get some kind of recognition and to finally get that classic album out; this task seems to evade him. Fat Joe will be out but he's been in the game long enough, he's got his money, and he could retire with dignity. Jada could take 50 Cent on, and possibly embarrass him. I guess we will see how this plays out. I'd be dissapointed if it all fizzled like Nas vs. Jay or Jadakiss vs. Beanie Siegel. Chances are, this probably will.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Will Hip Hop be banned?

Seems that I am sensing a strong backlash against hip hop culture, or what is negative hip hop culture, epitomized by 50 Cent and Nelly. Their whole value system is based on just money, hos, and dollars, and I know that all in all it's wrong for hip hop to go that route, but I don't want to see it banned.

I like Essence Magazine's Take Back the Music series, which is mostly a woman's magazine attacking a sexist culture. Hip hop has always had a sexist vibe to it, especially when it has in the past been connected to the Pimp Game which it has nothing to do with, even though Too Short is one of the first to blow up the Bay Area out West. Personally, I feel that if women want to gyrate and model in videos there is nothing wrong with that; it's an image and I don't feel that this content has to be banned from videos, like the ever popular "Tip Drill".

I've seen the Tip Drill video on a bootlegged copy of one of Buckwild's X-rated shows, and you know what? That is where it belongs. This is young adult entertainment for those over the age of 18 or 21, whatever you feel the legal age is. Just like Richard Pryor's and Redd Foxx's nasty records were kept away from kids generations ago, this to me is the same thing. However, I don't understand the demands of the people who don't like Nelly. Do they want the music to never be made? Do they want Nelly to disappear? Should he scale back on his artistic expression? How would the world be a better place if a video such as Tip Drill was never made?

I just feel it should be kept out of young kid's hands, but I'm concerned about other people's agenda of wanting to ban this stuff.

I guess the argument is very complex now, and the factors are so overwhelming. There is the breakdown of the family in all of society's sectors, there is the corporatization of rap where all these big entertainment and media companies promote hop hop that makes the most money to a younger audience with no sense of accountability or responsibility. Also, a more whiter audience has emerged in the last ten years, and they are eating up Eminem, 50 Cent and G Unit, and Nelly, and that is causing concern that probably would never have emerged if the audience was only black, ethnic, inner city kids as imagined.

However, the conflict between the 2 camps: preachers, concerned parents, politicians, and activist college students on one hand and hip hop artists on the other will continue as it always has. In the middle are the hip hop purists, who took a stand against the Hot 97 machine of rumors, lies and BS music.

In the end, I feel that hip hop purists should take a stand and determine what will go down in hip hop because what they say matters more than what woman's magazines, campus busybody's, entertainment and media conglomerates, no-talent opportunists and their crews, right wingers and other such characters think. If hip hoppers themselves don't try to correct the situation or come up with what should be done, then this right wing oligarchy we call a democracy will step in and ban it in the name of "protecting the children", whatever that means.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Too much has happened since I last wrote about the whole Game/50 situation. But I've seen all the stories from the words exchanged, the beefs, the fake message board postings and the police monitoring the message boards (Hence, all the G-Unit message boards are all shut down), and then the suggestion that the GAME was a stripper (scary thought that is, ewwww....)

Anyways, I'll have to say to this one that I don't care much for 50, wont buy his album; though I may download some of his tracks off the new Napster. Then again, I might get them free off Kazzaa....I dunno, haven't decided yet. I liked the GAME/Jim Jones remix of "Certified Gangsters" when it was a video, but was surprised that I couldn't find it anywhere except for GAME mixed CD's that costed about $15.99. What peaked my interest was reading about the song in Vibe, how 50 refused to clear the song because it was on Koch Records, which is beneath the G-Unit imprint which is nothing more than 50 getting a small cut of the money after Jimmy Lovinne, Dr Dre, Eminem and then all the accountants and lawyers get their cut, 50 gets his cut. Really, it doesn't matter what label a brotha is on as long as he is gettin' paid. So, it doesn't make sense to me that he calls the label an "artist graveyard." Of course the record sales aren't as good, but a label is a label to me.

50's dissing of Jadakiss now has me interested in Jada. I've never been much of a Jada fan; I haven't brought his stuff though I got the bootleg of Style P's last album for $2.00 at the mall up the street. He never seemed to me to be a great MC; but I'm more into cats like J-Live and Immortal Technique lately, so Im not easily fazed. He just sounded to me like a more hardcore version of Ma$e, and I can't stand the old Ma$e or the new Ma$e. But I think I'll download some of his cuts beside "We Gon Make It" and "Why". Maybe this dissing stuff is good marketing for all involved, after all, why else would I say f--k 50 and say that Im gonna check this other cat out?

As for Fat Joe, well, I think everybody has always known Fat Joe is alright, not great; Big Pun brought out the best in him, and he's done good with that whole "Lean Back" phase, but I need lyrics, I gotta have somebody lyrical, and Joe was at his best back in his "Flow Joe" days, but to me, Fat Joe is just Fat Joe. I aint messing with his music, but my biggest question is in a fight, who would win? Fat Joe has been pretty mild this time; back in the day it seemed like he would beat somebody down at the drop of a hat. Now, he's not saying "I'm gonna kick 50's azz!" Nah, he seems to be saying, "This nyggah is doing it for publicity". 50 is really good at boxing, but Joe I think is a much better street fighter. Beyond Joe questioning whether 50's been in a club, I'd like for Joe to be like "50, Im going to beat that azz!"

Oh well, that's too much for now. I'm still sick with this cold, so I'm going to sleep.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Review: Deep Thinkers "Necks Move" Album

Recently in XXL Magazine, 50 Cent talked about how he doesn’t care about the art of hip-hop; for him it was all about the cash, nothing more. Recently, RIME Magazine had a theme of hip pop vs. hip-hop. On one side of the spectrum are the rappers like 50 who rap about money, clothes and hos, and on the other side of the spectrum are the 4 elements-the graf writers, the MC, the breaker and the DJ.

Whereas 50 is all about the money, clothes and hos, Deep Thinkers are all about the elements. Listening to this album, there is so much to take in. Complex jazz grooves and exotic sounds dominate as there is much more to this music than just the beat and who produced it. The rhymes and messages that lay within the mix are such that I wish that in this day and age of Bush’s Pax Americana, all MC’s should be talking about such subject matter.

Deep Thinkers come from Kansas City, but they are far from the thugged out hardcore gangstas hyped up Murder Dog magazine or Vell Bakardy. They also are not like Tech Nine, the other MC who has come out of Kansas City as well. Unlike Tech, these artists are part of a bigger movement; a bigger scene of Kansas City hip hop. In their first song of the album, “Building”, they talk about the building of this new scene.

The lyrics are very real for this day and age, like in “Bottled Slaughter”: The rich go on vacation, poor on parole, probation or prison”. I like this lyric in “Stand Strong”: “Try to sugarcoat slavery and the land they stole” The themes of the songs are deep as well; in the song “Here 1 Minute” they rap about the temporary nature of life especially in the hood, and “Stand Strong” is a jam about doing what you gotta do despite the problems that you run into.

This is great underground hip hop especially for people who are mad about the state of hip hop and even the state of the world today. I like this group because they strive to be different and to make music that is complex and goes beyond the Lil Jon krunk beats, the Kanye West sped up voices, or the imitations of big name producers so popular today. Not only that, they pratically shyt on all the trappings of today’s hip hop, rapping against what they call the hip hop “fashion magazines” like the Source and XXL, and the retail stores like Sam Goody. I hope that this group keeps doing what they are doing, no matter how unpopular it is, and in the end, hopefully, people will catch on.

Check out the Deep Thinkers Blog at
Check out the Deep Thinkers record label site:
Download the album off Emusic!
(Subscription required!)

Thanks to Willis at Datura Records for giving me a copy of the CD!